Joe's Blog

Problem 1 I thought it would be cool to get a rooted Samsung S5 running on Lineage OS 16.01. . . and I was kind of right. Everything was going smooth until I read the Electronic Frontier Foundation's “7 Simple Ways to Make Your Android Phone More Secure”. I thought I would go into the settings and simply encrypt my phone as they suggested in one of the steps. Seems like a sensible thing to do. Once I hit 'Enter' I was met with a series of vibrations and the repeated turning on and off... for 8 hours. The phone bricked itself :(

Problem 2 I'd been relegated to a flip phone the last week and a half until my new device gets to me. In the meantime, I decided to do some cleaning and stumbled on an old Nexus 5 with UBports Ubuntu Touch on it. For a moment I had the ability to swap my SIM card over and catch up on all of my unread texts and phone calls. That was until I decided to try pin-locking my SIM card until I very quickly realized none of my codes had worked. After these couple of attempts, I was prompted to give the PUK code. I said to myself, “And what the hell is that?” A quick DuckDuckGo search on my laptop revealed that this code can only be known by reaching out to my service provider. Double fail. I'm 2/2. Hopefully, I can get this managed tomorrow morning so I can get back into my calls and texts! If I have to get a new SIM my family will probably disown me hahaha.

Moral of the story: Don't mess with old phones that are suicidal and make sure you know what the hell you're doing when you go to lock your SIM.

Have you heard the saying, “We fall to the lowest level of our training”?

In the military, I heard that ad nauseam. But no one ever mentioned that the same is true for emotional intelligence. I have to remind myself of this from time to time, sometimes others remind me of this.

There is a process to this madness: Realize what is happening, allow yourself to go “through it”, and try to become a more resilient person. Forge yourself in the fire of resiliency but don't forget your humanity.

Marcus Aurelius said in his Meditations, “The time is at hand when you will have forgotten everything; and the time is at hand when all will have forgotten you. Always reflect that soon you will be no one, and nowhere.”

To me, this means don't become too fraught but do allow yourself to feel. What's the point in getting mad at someone? Remember the impermanence of life, and remember to have compassion for yourself and fellow humans along the journey.

A snapshot of my life right now:

1) Practicing Russian – When I should be studying up on Italian. That's my problem, I know I will learn Italian, but I need that “fire under my ass” to make progress. This has to be a masochistic thing, I like the challenge of adapting/integrating into a new society too much

2) Building J&D Marketing Firm with my two partners. – It consumes most of my waking hours, but that level of obsession appeals to me right now. All the years of “wishing and thinking of becoming my own boss”, got me nowhere. Taking action on this was the match that sparked the rest. That much is clear to me right now.

3) Writing articles for Humans For Ethical Technology – This is my passion project. It reminds me that I should have been writing much sooner. Better late than never. All of these things competing for my time really have helped curb my former pattern of procrastination. I think the big takeaway is to bait yourself into a project and make it so there are consequences for inaction/not meet deadlines. Being accountable to other people creates a “do or die” scenario. I can say I'm much more reliable than I used to be.

4) Studying to eventually get my Bachelor's at the moment. Also doing my damned-est to transfer to the University of Torino. I can't lie, university is definitely not on the top of my list. In fact, it's really my lowest priority. I can't quite shake the feeling I should care a bit more about it but at this stage will not give me the return on investment I need from my time. I enjoy learning in general, but “the system” is set up to be a marathon, not a sprint. More ambitious projects are competing for my time, and that is a trade I'm willing to make right now. No regrets thus far.

5) Personal Blog – A sanity check and a digital archive of my mind that I can refer to as the years pass on. It should provide fair entertainment value for my future-self.

6) Sleep. – What is sleep?? Not getting much of that precious commodity these days it seems. . . oh that's right, I'm here typing away instead of doing just that.

I had been delaying this for quite some time, but I'm glad to be here all the same. I'm not going to set any hard and fast rules for myself to follow except for writing every day. There's something self-assuring about writing every day, it's probably the “constant” aspect of the habit reminding you that this thing is not going away anytime soon. Sort of like having a reliable friend.

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